Two large fires burned on a grassy hill not far from the palace, and they were surrounded by weeping Aureus’Aevum dressed in all black. Bar’bou stood next to Val’tina and stared at the fires sorrowfully. Bar’bou turned and took her hand to try and comfort her, and he said, “I believe the country will look to you now for guidance, my queen.”
Val’tina wiped at her eyes with the sleeve of her black robe, and she shook her head. “Our world has ever been led by a king, just as the Father leads all. I would not presume to break tradition.”
Bar’bou frowned at Val’tina, “But if not you, your majesty, then whom could it possibly be?”
Val’tina sniffled and said, “I know you are concerned about our people, but can this not wait until Dar’duo and Lang’duo’s memorial ceremony is finished?”
Bar’bou bowed his head. “Of course, your majesty. How inconsiderate of me.” He backed away to where his wife was standing with their son, Ahir, Trixie, and Milton.
Bec’kha, Bar’bou’s wife smacked him. “I can’t believe you would bother the queen with such matters now of all times! She just lost her family! I know I wouldn’t want anyone bothering me with anything, no matter how important, if I’d lost you and Kahl.”
Bar’bou rubbed at the spot where his wife had hit him and sighed. “You are right of course, my dear. I can’t imagine what she’s feeling right now, but you must admit that choosing who will lead us is very important!”
Bec’kha glared at Bar’bou and Ahir put an arm on his shoulder. “Settle down, Bar’bou. From what you’ve told me every province has its own governors to manage them, they should be able to take care of things until a new king is chosen.”
Bar’bou nodded his head hesitantly. He was about to say something else when a deep Aureus’Aevum voice started to sing.
“As fires purify the land as a whole,
so may these fires purify your soul.
Enter into the Father’s rest,
passing from this life, your test.
Worry not for those who love you,
It is our duty to see them through.
Glory crowns the life of our Kings,
It is of them who we sing.”
The Aureus’Aevum bowed to Val’tina and made his way back into the crowd weeping. That song was the sign that the service was over, and weeping Aureus’Aevum started to whisper to one another asking about who would lead them.
Bar’bou made his way to the top of the hill and turned to face the crowd. The crowd grew silent and looked to Bar’bou. Bar’bou cleared his throat and said, “I have spoken with Val’tina, and she has decided that she will step aside and let another take the place of leadership for our people. There is no protocol for how to proceed with this, so I will make a suggestion; I believe that our leader should be chosen by a council of the governors. I would like to make a few recommendations of individuals for the council to consider. By no means must they choose one of these, they are simply suggestions. I would recommend Mour’thon, he has done an excellent job of ruling over his province, or perhaps Behn’thon. He has more experience with caring for the day to day needs of an agricultural society than any other governor gathered here today.”
Behn’thon called out, “Thank you for the nomination, but to be honest, I can’t think of anyone better suited to take on the role of our leader than you, Bar’bou. I have heard reports of how you organized our people after Lang’duo’s defeat, may he find the Father’s rest, and it has long been suspected that it was your wisdom that made Dar’duo such a good king.”
Shouts of agreement echoed from the crowd, and Bar’bou stared at them in wonder. “Me? You can’t be serious! I am but a simple advisor! If you value my wisdom that much, I will stay on in my role for whichever of you should take on the role.”
Mour’thon smiled and said, “You said that the council of governors should vote on it, so let’s have a vote; all in favor of Bar’bou becoming the next king say aye.”
Every governor and even many of the Aureus’Aevum gathered in the crowd shouted, “Aye!”
Bar’bou shook his head and said, “Very well. According to the will of the council and the people, I will take on the name, Bar’duo. Our first order of business must be deciding what to do with those who are still loyal to Lang’duo. I fear that they cannot be released for the harm they may cause to our society. The only two options we have would be to imprison them for life for something they can’t control, or to use the Gladio Protegat one last time to send them to their final rest.”
Shocked cries erupted from the crowd. “You want to spread even more death to our people? Haven’t we suffered enough?”
The governors talked amongst themselves for several minutes, with angry shouts, and finally Behn’thon turned and said, “The council has discussed this and we feel that the Gladio Protegat should be used as a mercy to those still under Lang’duo’s influence. But we feel that Tor’jahd should not be afforded this mercy, since he was not under Lang’duo’s control and is directly responsible for everything that has befallen our people. He shall live out the rest of his days in the dungeons!”
Bar’duo bowed his head. “I find the council’s ruling to be wise and it will be done as they say. Once this matter is settled, my first command will be for Laz’krit to melt down the Gladio Protegat and for its metal to be formed into medals for the heroes that rescued us in our hour of need. I would like to extend an invitation for our human allies to stay and live amongst us. They have more than earned the right to stay if they should wish it.” Bar’duo’s decree was met with cheers and Bar’duo turned to look at Ahir, Trixie, and Milton. “Would you like to stay with us, my friends? Perhaps Ahir could even be my advisor?”
Ahir and Trixie put their heads together and started to whisper, but Milton shook his head. “I am afraid that I must decline your invitation. I would always be an outsider because of my appearance, no matter how good your intentions.”
Bar’duo nodded his head understandingly. “If that is what you choose, then I wish you the best of luck. I hope that you would stay long enough for the feast we are planning for you.”
Milton nodded his head. “Yes, I will stay for your feast, but I will depart as soon as it is finished. I’m sure much has happened since we left.”
Trixie nodded her head and Ahir gave her a peck on the cheek. He turned to look at Bar’duo and said, “Trixie and I would like to stay, but I’m afraid that I will have to pass on your offer to be your advisor. I’m just a simple street performer and I don’t think that I would do a very good job as an advisor. Besides, this new world is amazing and Trixie and I intend to see all of it.”
Bar’duo smiled back at Ahir, “A very wise decision, I would like to be the first to greet you to your new home. Behn’thon, please select someone to deal with those loyal to Lang’kahn and we will begin our feast!”
Behn’thon looked at Bar’duo uneasily, and Ahir stepped forward. “I will do it.”
Bar’duo shook his head. “No, Ahir. You have already done more than enough for our people. I couldn’t ask you to do this as well.”
Ahir said more confidently, “Your race is a peaceful one, Bar’duo. They shouldn’t be forced to endure such a thing, and I already have the blood of Lang’duo’s followers on my hands, a little more won’t hurt. Besides, the sword chose me.”
Bar’duo nodded his head. “Very well, a servant will escort you to the dining hall once you are finished. As for the rest of us, let us go and eat!” The people cheered and all followed Bar’duo back to the palace.”
A servant led Ahir into the dining hall, and Ahir scanned the crowd for Trixie and Milton. Ahir’s eyes scanned tables full of vegetables and fruits of every color and shape imaginable piled onto tables next to tarts, pies, cakes and stacks of fresh bread. Finally he found Milton stuffing a tart into his mouth and made his way over to his side. Trixie looked up at Ahir and smiled at him. “Is it finished?”
Ahir sighed and nodded his head. “Yes, I just handed the sword over to Laz’krit for him to melt down. Now, what here is tasty?”
Trixie moved over to make room for Ahir and he sat down between her and Milton. “Milton is enjoying those fruit and nut tarts, and this red piece of fruit tastes like a kiwi. You have to try the bread though. I’ve never tasted such good bread before.”
Ahir reached for a loaf of bread when he felt a delicate touch on his arm. He turned and saw a female Aureus’Aevum with two goblets in her hand smiling suggestively at him. “I thought that perhaps the hero would be thirsty. Perhaps I could offer him a goblet of tri’lezzit and you could tell me about some of your adventures?”
Ahir swallowed hard and stammered, “Um, I, that is, um…”
Trixie interrupted him and took the goblet from from the female Aureus’Aevum and glared at her. “The hero has only just sat down to eat. Perhaps you can hear about his adventures another time?”
The Aureus’Aevum returned Trixie’s glare. “Very well, I will have to seek him out later to hear of his stories. Perhaps sometime when he’s alone.” She moved off walking with a very suggestive sway.
Ahir gave off a sigh of relief. “Thanks for the rescue, Trixie. I think we should start our tour of the world very soon. I don’t think I want to spend anymore time around the palace than need be if there are many other female Aureus’Aevum like her around.”
Trixie sighed and leaned into Ahir’s shoulder. “I can’t wait to get started! I’m sure there is so much to see.”
Milton sighed in disgust. “I don’t understand why you are getting all the attention, I was the one that saved the day! I bet if I didn’t look like this that she would have been here to talk to me. This is exactly why I’m not staying.”
Ahir took a bite from the bread in his hand and looked at Milton. “What are you going to do when you get back home?”
Milton’s scowl turned into a grin. “I have already talked it over with Laz’krit, but he is going to let me keep some of the artifacts that we used. I want to go back and use them to make a difference in our world, to keep fighting the bad guys.”
Ahir nodded his head. “That sounds like a good idea. After everything we’ve fought against stopping normal humans should be a breeze for you.” Ahir, Trixie and Milton talked for hours while they enjoyed good food and drink, but finally the time for Milton to go arrived.
Thank you for checking out my story, if you liked this and want to see more of it, come back on Friday when I will publish part three, and check out the other stories I’m working on writing, here: Tales of the Imagination, check out my facebook page to connect with me and give me some feedback: Facebook, and follow me on Twitter here: @EJBorchardt. Please like, comment, and tell your friends if you like what you’ve read, and don’t forget to check out my new book! You can buy a copy of it here: The Kids on the Case: Our First Case